The New York Yankees will open the 2008 Championship Season-the 106th in franchise history and the 84th and final season at the current Yankee Stadium-on Monday, March 31 vs. the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m.
Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson will throw out the game's ceremonial first pitch in a season that marks the 30th anniversary of the Yankees' 1978 World Championship campaign. Public address announcer Bob Sheppard will not attend the game as he continues to recuperate from illness. His longtime backup, Jim Hall, will serve in his place.No offense to Mr. October, but the Yankees should have more than just Jackson throwing out the first pitch. This is the last opening day at The Stadium; it should be Ford, Berra, O'Neill, Tino, Bernie, Mattingly, and Jackson - it should be something special, something extraordinary. Reggie Jackson by himself is not extraordinary.
In addition to the presentation of colors by the West Point Cadet Color Guard, a giant American flag will be unfurled in the outfield by 40 West Point cadets. The national anthem will then be sung by the United States Military Academy at West Point Cadet Glee Club. At the conclusion of the anthem, two U.S. Navy F-18 Hornets piloted by the Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (the Gladiators) will fly over the Stadium.
Pre-game ceremonies will begin at approximately 12:40 p.m. Gates will open at 11:00 a.m.